The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has issued the first pair of gambling penalties for advertising infringement
BetMGM and PointsBet were fined $78,000 by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) for alleged advertising and inducement violations.
The fines were imposed in response to suspected violations of the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming, which dealt with advertising and inducements.
Following the recent change in regulations in Canada, an influx of businesses raced to the market to provide locals with a range of gaming possibilities.
BetMGM was fined $48,000 by the AGCO for allegedly failing to follow Standards 2.04 and 2.05 of the Standards for Internet Gaming. It further stated that PointsBet has been penalised $30,000 for failing to comply with Standard 2.05.
Companies are prohibited from selling “gambling inducements, bonuses, and credits” unless they do so on their website after a player has given “active” agreement, according to Standard 2.04.
The AGCO detailed the particular violations of these Standards, alleging that BetMGM Canada advertised a “$250K Launch Party,” which included a sweepstakes offering a $100K casino bonus to the winner.
The so-called Bellagio promotion, was aired with a promise of a $10 casino bonus in exchange for a $25 bet, which was first tweeted on April 4 and then repeated on April 6, 7, and 8. On April 8, the operator also promoted a ‘Jimi Hendrix Free Spin Friday’ on Twitter, with the chance to win 100 free spins.
Scott Vanderwel, CEO of PointsBet Canada, said in a statement “On behalf of PointsBet Canada, I personally apologize for our error made in the interpretation of the standards set forth by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) leading to this outcome.”
Ontario is one of the few places in the world where public promotion of bonuses and other gambling inducements is prohibited.
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